Bix Beiderbecke was one of the greatest jazz musicians of the roaring 20s, inspiring such legends as Louis Armstrong and Hoagy Carmichael. His self-taught, unorthodox coronet style produced a distinctive, tone and timbre described as “bullets hitting a bell.” However, Bix was also a heavy drinker and — thanks in part to cheap, illegally made Prohibition-era booze — he died at age 28 in his apartment at 43-30 46th Street in Sunnyside (see plaque below after the jump). This Saturday, Bix’s melodious and often improvisational music will come alive during the Bix Beiderbecke Sunnyside Memorial Concert. This all-afternoon event will include performances by the Sunnyside Drum Corps and the Big Apple Lindy Hoppers as well as a 1920s costume contest and even clips from the Queens World Film Festival. A pickup band that gets together every year for the event, The Sunnyside Wolverines (above), will lead various musical attractions.
Details: Bix Beiderbecke Sunnyside Memorial Concert, Sunnyside Arch, 46th Street and Queens Boulevard, August 3, 12:30 PM to 7 PM, free.
Top photo: Paul Maringelli of the Bix Beiderbecke Memorial Committee; bottom photo: Rob MacKay